ALAPPUZHA: The Ministry of Human Resource Development has asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to immediately constitute a high-level committee to inquire into the reported sale of fake degrees by certain universities.
The committee is required to complete its inquiry within three weeks and identify the institutions and individuals that have resorted to such illegal practices so that strict action can be taken against all concerned, said the ministry in a tweet on Thursday.
It may be recalled that this paper had published a series of reports last year on fake D.Litt degrees being awarded by non-existent universities. Following this, the Students Federation of India had complained to the MHRD.
The UGC had tried unsuccessfully in the past to rein in such universities and warned of strict action to trace them out. Many universities like Universal Tamil University, Chennai; Kings University, USA.; International Peace University, Germany; International Tamil University; and University Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, continue to send letters to schools, colleges and offices of the district institutes of education and training in Kerala to lure prospective clients.
Mayukh Biswas, general secretary of SFI, told DC over phone that the UGC must constitute a credible committee to find out the fake operators.
"The MHRD decision is a victory for us. Our campaign will continue till the ministry takes penal action against the guilty. We have already submitted evidence against the fake institutions and will give it to the committee as well," he said.
This newspaper had found that the International Tamil University and Kings University were run by S. Selvin Kumar, who claimed to be a former professor with the Madurai Kamaraj University.
They are located in a tenement in Maryland, USA, and function clandestinely by word of mouth.
There also rackets operating in several parts of the country that arrange degrees of recognised universities without the need for students to attend classes or sit for examinations....